AZERI STAKES | PURSE: $150,000 | 4-YEAR-OLDS & UP | FILLIES AND MARES | GRADE 3 | 1 1/16 MILES
Cresran's homebred Tiz Miz Sue closed fast and pulled off the upset over 3-5 favorite My Miss Aurelia and 9-5 second choice Don't Tell Sophia to repeat in the Grade 3, $147,000 Azeri at Oaklawn Park on Saturday. It sure was de je vu all over again as she was the 8-1 fourth choice among five runners just as she was last year and paid $18.40, $5.20 and $2.80 to her supporters this time.
The Steve Hobby trainee captured her fourth stakes victory in the same fashion as she did in last year's race by closing in the stretch. While she won by three lengths in the 2012 running of the Azeri, the dark bay got up before the wire to win by 1 1/4 lengths this time around.
With Joe Rocco Jr. in the saddle, Tiz Miz Sue covered 1 1/16 miles over the fast track in 1:45 1/5, which was almost two seconds slower compared to last year's race.
Tiz Miz Sue broke to the inside and allowed eventual last-place finisher Songs and Sonnets, who at one point opened up a 7 1/2-length lead on the field, to post leisurely fractions of :25, :49 and 1:14 1/5. The six-year-old mare lost some position around the second turn before switching out for the drive and finishing with a good kick.
Don't Tell Sophia had a length lead in the stretch but had to settle for place. Another 4 1/4 lengths back in third was My Miss Aurelia. She's All In, who finished ahead of Tiz Miz Sue in the Bayakoa Stakes last time out, crossed the wire in fourth while Songs and Sonnets brought up the rear. Holy Heavens and Keiai Tokyo were scratched from the race.
Bred in Kentucky, Tiz Miz Sue is by top sire Tiznow and hails from the Grade 3-winning broodmare Sue's Good News, a daughter of Woodman. This is the immediate female family of Grade 1 queen Serape, multiple Grade 3 vixen Batique and stakes winner Easyfromthegitgo.
Tiz Miz Sue captured the 2010 Polly's Jet Stakes and 2011 Winter Melody Stakes, both at Delaware Park, and has placed in 11 stakes, including a fourth in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga last summer. She was coming off a third-place finish in the Bayakoa over this track last month.
The dark bay pocketed $90,000 Saturday, increasing her career earnings to $789,709 from a 30-7-9-4 ledger.